The Georgia Supreme Court affirmed the murder conviction Monday of an Augusta man found guilty of participating in the killing of an off-duty city police officer 17 years ago.
In an unanimous nine-page decision, the state's highest court ruled Charles Lee Boseman was fairly tried and convicted in Richmond County Superior Court in April 1994.
Mr. Boseman, then 18, was the first of three young men arrested in the Dec. 18, 1990, slaying of Augusta Police Sgt. Charles "Tommy" Hammock.
Sgt. Hammock had just arrived home at the Damascus Woods Apartments that night when several young men walked up to his vehicle. Before he could exit his truck, one of the men shot him.
Days later, Mr. Boseman talked to a friend about getting the police reward money because he knew who shot Sgt. Hammock. The friend called the police and the police picked up Mr. Boseman for questioning. He confessed.
Before the day was over, police charged Mr. Boseman, Rodriquez Antonio Jones, then 20, and Robert Lee McIntyre, then 19. The district attorney announced he would seek the death penalty and each defendant would stand trial separately.
Mr. Jones was the first tried. He was convicted and sentenced to life in prison. Mr. McIntyre stood trial next and was acquitted. Mr. Boseman was the last tried.
On Monday, the Supreme Court ruled the evidence against Mr. Boseman was sufficient to find him guilty to being a party to the crime. The court rejected defense arguments that Mr. Boseman's statement was coerced. The court also rejected the contention Mr. Boseman's trial attorney should have called witnesses to testify about another suspect's alleged confession to Sgt. Hammock's killing.
Augusta attorney Peter Johnson, who represented Mr. Boseman on appeal, said he anticipated the court's ruling but still finds the case against Mr. Boseman disturbing.
The evidence pointed to another group of young men involved in a robbery and car-jacking spree around the time of Sgt. Hammock's murder, Mr. Johnson said.
Mr. Boseman did confess, but Mr. Johnson said he thinks Mr. Boseman's limited intellect and youth at the time of his questioning led to a false confession.
Reach Sandy Hodson at (706) 823-3226 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
BACKGROUND: In Augusta in 1990, three police officers were wounded in separate shootings before Sgt. Charles "Tommy" Hammock, 53, was gunned down on Dec. 18, 1990. Four days later, Charles Lee Boseman was arrested when he implicated himself and two others -- Rodriquez Antonio Jones and Robert Lee McIntyre. In separate trials, Mr. Jones and Mr. Boseman were convicted and Mr. McIntyre was acquitted.
DEVELOPMENTS: On Monday, the Georgia Supreme Court affirmed Charles Lee Boseman's murder conviction, ruling that he was fairly tried and convicted in 1994.
In Augusta in 1990, three police officers were wounded in separate shootings before Sgt. Charles "Tommy" Hammock, 53, was gunned down on Dec. 18, 1990.
Four days later Charles Lee Boseman was arrested when he implicated himself and two others - Rodriquez Antonio Jones and Robert Lee McIntyre.
In separate trials, Mr. Jones is convicted, Mr. McIntyre is acquitted and Mr. Boseman is convicted.